Multi-lineage 'stem' cells in the mammalian embryo

J Cell Sci Suppl. 1988;10:11-27. doi: 10.1242/jcs.1988.supplement_10.2.


The term 'stem' cell has acquired a rather more restricted meaning in cell biology than in embryology as a result of studies on the growth kinetics of renewing tissues in mature organisms. It is normally used in an embryological context as a synonym for 'progenitor' cell. Methods of establishing the existence of multi-lineage progenitor cells in mammals are examined briefly before the occurrence and properties of such cells in both embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues of the mouse conceptus are reviewed. Various attributes of 'stem' cells that can be obtained from outgrowths of blastocysts in vitro are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ectoderm / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology*
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Mammals / embryology*
  • Mice
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Trophoblasts / cytology